Digital is redefining retail experiences, and the banking industry is right in the middle of the disruption. Customers today expect more personalized services and simple and seamless interactions. To deliver on these increased expectations, the banking contact center as we know it will need to evolve into a digital banking relationship center of the future that can anticipate customers needs and improve interactions.\nIt is no surprise that the cross-channel experience must improve for banks\u2014the need extends across all industries. In fact, 58 percent of the business-to-consumer organizations (B2C) Accenture surveyed are taking actions to improve the customer cross-channel experience. For banking, the contact center\u2014which is often a channel of last resort for customers\u2014is ideally positioned to become the new hub of customer centricity. Twenty-nine percent of consumers use the banking contact center today, and 18 percent rely on it for their first contact, the survey found.\nMaking the best first impression\nCIOs should help the business steer the transformation to a digitally enabled contact center. However, the work also involves developing an integrated platform that can help a new breed of \u201cempathetic advisors\u201d to serve customers. For instance, CIOs can help develop capabilities that allow intelligent machines to produce data insights that are shared with customer service agents so that they can deliver the most personalized services possible.\u00a0\nRight now, legacy technology hinders positive customer experiences. Data is piecemeal, there are gaps in knowledge, and silos make it near impossible to gain a comprehensive view of the customer. With an effective platform strategy, banks can break through the silos and deliver personalized customer experiences. Perhaps that is why 83 percent of banking executives see platforms as the glue that will bind their organizations in the digital economy.\nAdding AI and intelligent machines\nAlong with creating platforms, the CIO should play a role in adding intelligent machines and other types of artificial intelligence (AI) to the contact center team to help transform experiences. According to a 2016 Accenture Technology Vision study, 86 percent of banking executives surveyed agree that the widespread use of AI delivers competitive advantage beyond cost.\nAI will arm advisors with invaluable insights from internal platform data and ancillary data from external sources, such as social media that can provide insights about customer habits and preferences.\n3 steps to transform a bank contact center into a relationship center\nBecoming a digital bank means infusing digital into every facet of the institution. The digital banking relationship center is at the heart of it all, and CIOs can help improve the digital banking customer experience by taking three steps:\n\nBreak free from rigid architectures. CIOs must rethink the bank\u2019s legacy business and technology architectures. An important first step is developing a coherent platform strategy that breaks down silos and decouples the architectures so that the data layer is exposed, not buried within inflexible systems.\nAct on analytics. After exposing the data layer, it is time to extract customer insights from the data to help enable relationship managers to better understand the bank\u2019s customers.\nReimagine the workforce. The talent strategy must move away from a binary view of human and robot work and account for the evolution of humans and machines working together. Banks will not have the choice of using one or the other. A workforce that integrates humans and machines demands an integrated talent strategy.\n\nThe relationship center has exciting potential to be the command center of the digital banking customer experience. And the CIO has an important role to play in leading the transformation.